Skytap, Inc., the leading provider of cloud-based IT labs, today announced that numerous software vendors, including Acresso, HP, OpenText, and SchemaLogic, have collectively delivered over 100,000 software demos and proof of concepts (POCs) to their customers using Skytap’s cloud platform. Similar to hosting an online meeting, Skytap allows customers to view a demo or complete a POC engagement whether they are in the same room or across the globe. Skytap’s solution enables organizations to decrease the amount of time spent preparing software sales demos and POC deployments, resulting in a shorter sales cycle and improved customer evaluation experience.
Today’s software solutions are more complex than ever, often consisting of multi-tiered environments. Application complexity and configuration issues make it challenging for consulting professionals and systems engineers to effectively deliver product demonstrations and proof-of-concepts via traditional methods. These issues create an inefficient sales process and extend the time it takes to close new business. Skytap’s innovative cloud-based service provides sales teams with immediate access to a scalable, full lab manager solution over the Web, allowing them to more quickly and effectively complete software demo and POC engagements.
“Sales and consulting teams face the challenge of creating customized software demos and POCs for customers at short notice, but typically lack the required hardware and prebuilt software templates to achieve this goal,” said Ian Knox, senior director of product management at Skytap. “Skytap’s cloud-based solution allows sales teams to spin-up customizable software environments on-demand, without relying on underpowered laptops or a customer providing hardware. Preparation for sales engagements is typically reduced from several hours to minutes, and sales cycles can be reduced by weeks by removing customer hurdles for product evaluations.”
Increase Productivity and Accelerate the Sales Cycle
System engineers and sales professionals can upload ‘gold master’ software demonstration templates to Skytap’s library and quickly adapt these templates to create their own customized sales demonstrations and POCs. Upon completion of the demonstration, system engineers and sales professionals can easily revert to the original configuration, eliminating the need to develop the next demonstration from scratch.
“With hundreds of sales professionals worldwide, we were looking for a highly scalable cloud solution that could offer access to our latest demo builds,” said Neil Wilson, technical marketing manager at OpenText. “Using Skytap, our sales engineers can launch their own virtual lab in seconds to demo any product or answer customer questions on a proof-of-concept in real time.”
Enhance the Customer and Partner Experience
Skytap’s software demo solution also allows customers and partners to interact with and evaluate solutions over the Web without installing any software or hardware on-site. Additionally, sales engineers and consulting organizations can quickly demonstrate value to customers based on preconfigured deployments and ensure installations are created in a ‘sandbox’ environment before exporting virtual machines to a customer’s on-site environment.
“Skytap enabled us to introduce our new SharePoint solution, MetaPoint, in record time by providing our sales team and select channel partners with immediate access to customer-ready demonstrations, trial systems and training,” said Tom Pacholke, vice president of field operations, SchemaLogic. “Using Skytap, we were able to reduce the launch process from several weeks to just a few days. Based on this success, we are now planning to rollout the Skytap solution across our worldwide partner network.”
Increase Team Collaboration
Skytap’s Web-based model provides geographically dispersed sales engineers and technical experts the ability to collaborate in real time to rapidly build a demo. Sales teams can log on to Skytap through a self-service interface to create, share, manage and tailor demos or POC engagements based on specific customer requirements.
“Skytap’s cloud-based software demo solution has bridged the gap between our sales engineering and services organizations to enable frequent collaboration across customer accounts,” said Michael Snyders, senior manager solution services, Acresso. “Using Skytap, we have dramatically improved our software demonstration capabilities and reduced our sales cycle as a result.”